New Google Earth Desktop Version 7.3

[UPDATE 19-JULY-2017] Google updated the 7.3 release with a new version that fixed a problem with the Linux version, and also fixed an HTTP request issue. The “advanced”
manual update release will roll out in a few hours they said. Right now that is still the 7.1 version. Google has said that they temporarily removed the new 7.3 update due to a critical bug found shortly after being launched. I will update this post when the update is once again available and/or more details are released. If you try to go download now, you will get the latest 7.1 release instead. – Frank]

Google has updated the desktop version of Google Earth to Although there are no added features, it is a fairly significant update, including enhancements to the interface, graphics, internal browser and much more. See the release announcement for the full list of changes.

Google Earth Pro for all
Google is finally dropping the ‘basic’ version of Google Earth and upgrading everyone to Google Earth Pro. The update should be automatic if you have Google Earth or Google Earth Pro already installed and a recent operating system (the minimum requirements have been increased). Google has updated the Google Earth download site to promote the new web version and you must click on ‘older versions’ to find the desktop version.

Frank reports that he gets significantly better graphics in the new version due to better graphics settings being enabled by default. The release notes state that antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are now enabled by default and Google Earth also defaults to OpenGL mode (vs DirectX mode which was the previous default on Windows). It appears that the antialiasing option in the settings is only available in OpenGL mode although that might depend on the graphics card. Google also made changes to make it look better on higher res displays like Retina from Mac.

To learn more about antialiasing to how to get similar quality improvements in older versions of Google Earth, see this YouTube video Frank made in 2015.

Internal browser

We ran our browser tests KML file and found that the new version scores 338 on the HTML 5 test site. The previous version scored just 169 and in 2015 Google Earth was scoring 119. The latest version of Chrome scores 518.

One downside of the new browser is tightened security settings. For example, our KMLs for animating Landsat and Sentinel-2 imagery no longer work correctly when run locally. The solution is to run them via a network link – a trick that works even if the KML file is still stored locally.

The biggest news for KML developers is that Google has enabled the DevTools window, which allows you to inspect and debug placemark HTML and JavaScript. Prior to this, it was extremely difficult to develop JavaScript to run in placemarks. To view DevTools, simply right click on an open placemark and select ‘Inspect’.

A Repair Tool
A repair tool has been added that helps resolve common problems. It should show up automatically if you are having trouble opening Google Earth, or can be run manually from within Google Earth: Help->Launch Repair Tool


Use the last option with care as it will delete all your saved places.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. I have several questions/comments but the forum won’t let me post so here goes……
    #1 – How do you increase the “Ground Speed” when you take te streetview gut and plop him down on the land. Then travelling to see mountain peaks for tower site evaluation and etc. I use te page up button but can not find a speed grapg to increase te speed. The arrows worgs fine for close up accroacy.

    #2 – Is there a way to pick a point on the ground and make circles for ranging, like a point with a 10 mile or 25 miles or 10 Km and etc and store them as “a circle”

    #3 – Hover over a point mode. When in altitude mode, looking near the horizon, when I grab the compas to rotate, it does not rotate over the point you are hovering over, I like to have that feature. Again Aateur Radio tower site hunting for repeaters and microwwave placements.

    #4 – Exporting the “Saves” to a CSV file and re-importing them from CSV format. That way I can use the VisaCalc (Spread sheet) to edit them. The export needs Lat, Lon, AMSL, Title, and the text window. The Lat long needs to be in three seperate DMS fields. Any ideas on that?

    #5 – Generating 3d Towers on the GE. The software that was sugested will not work. Will CAD3D work? FreeCAD? Paint Shop Pro 9?

    The suggested software wanted payment as well.

    Well, that’s my questions.

    Like I stated above, the forums will not function and is kornfuzzing! 🙂

    Is there a Yahoo E-Group For GE?

    Please, not only posting the answers here, please send them to my slot!
    Thank you in advance, folks!
    Ed – KB8QEU

  2. I and others have found the new version crashes on startup on some systems (I’ve tried it on 3). Seems there’s a bug in one of the bundled Qt libraries.

  3. rondha.rohsel says

    Well, as expected with any new release Google also introduces new problems. While UI etc. are all working properly 7.3 seems to have a lot of problems with network links.

    I’ve got plenty of network links loading complex data from a locally run web server (localhost), often based on the current view port. Some serve data in chunks as big as ~20 MB, others require sometimes 60-90 to load as a lot of data is fetched from different web services in the background, but with a small output of just a few hundred KB.

    Google Earth 7.1.* has absolutely no problems with these network links. But 7.3 is loading loading loading… and in most cases no results at all.

    If I activate debugging in the settings, standard KML fields such as “viewRefreshMode” or “gx:drawOrder” throw errors. But even if I choose to ignore or remove these fields, still no reaction.

    If I get the output via a browser and save it as a KML file, I can open this file manually. 7.3 is showing the content then but also it is much slower than 7.1. But the point of a network link is not to have to do anything manually.

    So I had to move back to the older version.
    Not very encouraging what Google is doing here. So many employees, so much money, but consistently failing.

  4. I had no issues upgrading to v7.3.x GEP on my MacBook Pro (OS X 10.12.5). Seems a bit faster, but I’ve noticed that when zooming to saved locations the pin is no longer shown.

  5. Eric Sadoyama says

    The most recent version I could find on Google’s download pages was the one from 1/17/2017 – but I manually edited the URL for the old version to substitute the new version number ( for the old one (, and was able to download the executable that way.

  6. anyone with problems use the new google earth repair tool, no. 2 worked for me

  7. Why does the download page still offer 7.1 instead of the newest version?

    • Frank Taylor says

      Note in an update to the post that Google pulled down the 7.3 release temporarily to fix one or more critical bugs. I will update the post again when they repost it.

  8. I downloaded the new version this afternoon and got version, which seems to work just fine. One of the best fixes in this update is that embedded video now works on Macs, just as it did in version 6. It’s about time Google got that working. 🙂

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.